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Tec Voc High School Hosts Inspiring Girls in Trades Event

May 29, 2024
Grade 11 Tec-Voc student Jessilina Jubinville working with all these drills and learning about different tools that are used in Aerospace.

Tec Voc High School in the Winnipeg School Division recently hosted its first annual Girls in Trades Event, attracting over 80 enthusiastic participants. 

The day was packed with hands-on activities, allowing the female students to explore three out of eight available trades: Aerospace, Welding, Machining, Automotive, Building Construction, Electronics, Engineering, and Dental Assisting.

Tracy Darbyshire, AMMOP and Career Education Coordinator emphasized the importance of this exposure: "Only 5% of skilled trade workers in Canada are females, including aesthetics and hair. We aim to increase that number by introducing girls to these trades early on. Today's event is about allowing them to try these skills in a supportive environment, making them feel comfortable and confident."


The keynote speaker, Pam Grahame of Shop Floor Leadership, inspired the students with her motivational speech, encouraging them to consider, "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" 

The presentation asked students what they would do if they could take a chance and do anything they wanted, understand their skills, and learn how to transfer them into a paying career that isn't traditional.

"This event is about opportunity and getting out of your way. Trades and manufacturing offer significant career growth and earning potential. It's about understanding your skills and finding a mentor to guide you," said Pat Grahame. 

The girls participated in practical sessions, gaining firsthand experience with industry-standard tools and equipment. From carefully maneuvering drill bits in Aerospace to mastering the art of welding techniques, the day was a journey of discovery and empowerment.


Grade 11 Tec-Voc student Jessilina Jubinville, one of the many inspired participants, shared her excitement: "I'm enjoying working with all these drills and learning about different tools that are used in Aerospace. This event has opened my eyes to a potential career path. It's great to have the chance to explore different options and opportunities."

Additionally, presentations by CME Manitoba's Mitchell DeFehr, Maulene Ragat, and Ellice Gan from Supply Chain Manitoba highlighted the vast trade opportunities.


The day also featured a speed-dating session with mentors during lunch, allowing students to ask questions about career paths and experiences. The event concluded with Canadian Manufacturing and Supply Chain Canada presentations, which provided further insights into future career opportunities.

The Girls in Trades Day at Tec Voc High School sparked interest and ignited a passion for skilled trades careers in a new generation of young women. Participants gained valuable advice on career paths, apprenticeships, and essential skills needed for success in the trades.


The event's success was made possible by the invaluable support of industry mentors and sponsors. Magellan Aerospace Limited, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Aerospace, CN, RRC Polytech, Birchwood Automotive Group, CWB Welding Foundation, Winnipeg Transit, and New Flyer all played a crucial role. Their involvement showcased the real-world applications of the skills introduced. It underscored their commitment to promoting diversity in trades.


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